Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kitchen Adventures: Blondies

It's been quite some time since my last Baking Illustrated kitchen adventure. Last week when I brought in the leftover carrot cake cupcakes, blondies were suggested and now I'm able to check another recipe off the Baking Illustrated challenge!

Source: Baking Illustrated
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1.5 cups (7.5 oz.) unbleached all-purpose
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/5 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1.5 cups packed (10.5 oz.) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup (4 oz.) white chocolate chips
1/2 cup (4 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350°F. When the oven is up to temperature, if you're using the pecans, spread them out on a pan and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes. While the pecans are toasting, take one 16" long piece of aluminum foil and line a 13"x9" baking pan. Take another 16" long piece of aluminum foil and fold it in half, then line the pan endwise to create a foil basket for easier brownie removal. Give the foil a once over with some cooking spray and set aside.

Once the pecans are toasted, coarsely chop them and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) then whisk together.
In a large bowl, first combine the butter and the brown sugar. Mix well, then add the remaining wet ingredients (eggs and vanilla extract) into the bowl. Whisk together thoroughly.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet gently. Fold just until all of the flour is incorporated, being careful not to over mix the batter.
Gently fold in the chocolate chips and pecans if you're using them in the batter. I opted to use them as toppings to provide people with options.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is shiny and cracked.
Using the aluminium foil basket you created, gently lift the blondies out of the pan and set them on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

I'd actually never had a homemade blondie before I made these, but upon reading the recipe I realized they're basically just big chewy chocolate chip bars. I tried a bite of each type last night (pecan/plain) and I've actually decided that I like the plain blondies much, much better than the pecan ones. Though it's all personal preference anyhow -- Eric likes the pecan version better. All that being said, I'm still more of a true brownie kinda gal. I love chocolate too much. :)

Are you a brownie or a blondie person? Let me know in a comment below!